I found the passage above to be very interesting. I'm not sure how much I buy the whole physical change part seeing how I've never witnessed it, but I agree entirely with the notion that beliefs indeed have an effect on the nervous system and can cause people to change. With that being said, I think it's possible for someone to become an entirely different person when trading. I've always said to the traders I worked with that I believe ones trading style should somehow match their personality. Meaning that if you are a naturally a laid back individual then you should be more of a passive and conservative trader who waits for retest of structure to enter a position and if you have more of an impatient, I want it now type of personality, then you should be more of an aggressive limit order type of trader. However, as I read more and more of this Awaken the Giant Within book, my views on this topic are starting to open up a little. Is it possible that my normal impatient, I hate to wait for things self is able to somehow transform into a very calm, cool, and relaxed conservative trader 3 hours a day during the live room? I think so! After all we see professional athletesdo it all of the time. So let's assume that making this change is possible and that we do have the ability to leave ourselves and become a different person. How do we trigger this change? Is it like superman where we simply enter a booth, change clothes and we come out as a super trader? Maybe, after all I trade from home and I did go through a phase where I would dress up in a suit and tie each day just to trade the markets from my bedroom. Unfortunately, professional looking was still the only professional part of my trading. Or, maybe it's more like the incredible Hulk where a certain emotion has to trigger before we can transform into an ultimate trading beast. Well, I've gotten upset at the markets plenty of times, but it usually ended in be losing even more money. So what's the key to making this transformation? One word, affirmations.
Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation. These statements should be repeated in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger positive actions. For those who are a regular to this site, you're aware that every day I put up a positive quote. By going through many quotes each day and picking one I think is good for the site, I am starting my day by putting myself in a positive place. I then follow that up by reading through my trading plan which has many affirmations in it such as "I am a professional currency trader" and "I will be successful because..." Reading these statements (along with some motivational music) pumps me up each day and transforms me into a confident trader. I did the same thing when playing sports. Before each game I would say to myself "I am the best player on this field, nobody can stop me, I will catch every ball thrown my way" etc. In real life I am a very humble individual so I would never tell anybody that I was better than them, but in order to go out there and give my best I had to transform myself into somebody else. Of course simply telling myself these affirmations didn't work by themselves. Eventually I had to do something real in order to make these saying believable.
"What is a belief, anyway? Often in life we talk about things without having a clear idea of what they really are. Most people treat a belief as if it's a thing, when really all it is is a feeling of certainty about something. If you say you believe that you're intelligent, all you're really saying is, I feel certain that I'm intelligent. That sense of certainty allows you to tap into resources that allow you to produce intelligent results. We all have the answers inside of us for virtually anything-- or at least we have access to the answers we need through others. But often our lack of belief, our lack of certainty, causes us not to be able to use the capacity that resides within us. A simple way of understanding a belief is to think about its basic building block: an idea. There are a lot of ideas you may think about but not really believe... How do we turn an idea into a belief? Let me offer you a simple metaphor to describe the process. If you can think of an idea as being like a tabletop with no legs, you'll have a fir representation of why an idea doesn't feel as certain as a belief. Without any legs, that tabletop won't even stand up by itself. Belief on the other hand, has legs (Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within)."
Affirmations are a great start by themselves but they mean nothing if you can't attach a personsonal experience to them and back up your claim. "I am a great trader because last month I followed my rules and increased my capital." "I will have a good trading day because I am confident in my system and it has proven to make money over time." Maybe not the best examples in the world but the idea is to attach a personal event to your claim. So what do you do if you're a newbie trader who has just started out and hasn't had the chance to gain those positive experiences needed to turn that idea into a belief? My advice is to be creative. Remember the example of an affirmation that I shared with you from my trading plan. What I didn't mention was that this affirmation was in there before I placed a single live trade. Earlier I wrote "I will be successful because..." Well the full affirmation is "I will be successful because I have successfully completed a professional trading course. With this experience, discipline, knowledge of the markets, and the hard work put into mastering my craft, I know that I will be successful and that I deserve to be."
Our brain is a powerful tool. We've seen athletes transform on the field of play, we've seen soldiers transform on the battle field, we've seen parents transform in order to protect their children in dangerous situations. If this is all true, then shouldn't it be possible to will ourselves into becoming successful traders? I'll leave that open for debate.